The premiere of the new romantic comedy Larry Crowne, which stars Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, took place the week before I traveled. This got me thinking about the icons of the 1950s and the amazing movies that those symbols inspired during that decade.
So, friends, here is my list of the best five films from the 1950s. I will not apologize for include two films by Alfred Hitchcock in this selection.
The film “Rear Window,” which was released in 1954, is an interesting, stunning, and disturbing visual examination of obsessive human curiosity and voyeurism. The short story “It Had to Be Murder” written by Cornell Woolrich served as the inspiration for the screenplay written by John Michael Hayes. Alfred Hitchcock did an outstanding job directing.
This cinematic gem was created entirely on a single, limited set that was constructed at Paramount Studios. The set consisted of a realistic courtyard that included 32 apartments, 12 of which were fully furnished. The address that was used for the film was made up (125 W. 9th Street). As the main character watches, spies, and spectates on the other residents of the building through his’rear window,’ each of the people living in the other apartments provides an insightful commentary on marriage and a comprehensive survey of male/female relationships (ranging all the way from newlyweds to a partner who has committed murder). Remarkably, the majority of the camera angles are from the protagonist’s apartment. As a result, the audience member watching the film in a dark theater sees the people living in the other apartments almost entirely from the protagonist’s point of view, allowing them to participate in the protagonist’s voyeuristic surveillance.
The struggle of the passively-observant and immobile protagonist (James Stewart), a magazine photographer who is impotently confined to a wheelchair while recuperating in his Greenwich Village apartment and fearful of the confining effects of marriage, runs concurrently with the mystery-thriller theme of mysterious activities of apartment neighbors. The mystery-thriller theme centers on the mysterious activities of apartment neighbors. It is difficult for him to overcome his ambivalent sentiments and his hesitation to get married to his high-fashion model fiancee-girlfriend because he is struggling with his plaster cast at the same time (Grace Kelly).
This movie, which is considered to be one of Alfred Hitchcock’s best thrillers, especially in the last twenty minutes, was only nominated for four Academy Awards (but did not win any): best director, best screenplay (written by John Michael Hayes), best color cinematography (performed by Robert Burks), and best sound recording.
An Affair to Remember
The movie “An Affair to Remember,” which was released in 1957, tells the story of a doomed affair between Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant. The romance is doomed because an automobile accident prevents them from meeting at the top of the Empire State Building in New York City.
A well-known playboy in the arts, Nickie Ferrante (Grant), crosses paths with Terry McKay (Kerr) while traveling across the Atlantic Ocean on an ocean liner. Each is in a relationship with a different person. They eventually become friends following a string of unplanned encounters that take place on board the ship. Terry comes along with Nickie as she pays a quick visit to his grandmother while the ship is anchored near her home on the Mediterranean coast. During this time, Nickie is able to see Terry in a new light, and their feelings toward one another develop into love. As the ship approaches New York City, the passengers make a pact to meet again at the top of the Empire State Building in exactly six months, provided that they have been successful in terminating their previous relationships and beginning new endeavors.
While crossing the street on the day of their scheduled meeting, Terry was hit by a car as she was rushing to get to the Empire State Building in time for their appointment. Nickie, who is waiting for her at the observation deck located on the roof of the building, is unaware of the accident and, after a long period of time, finally concedes at midnight that she will not arrive. He is under the impression that she has rejected him. In the meantime, he is unaware of the accident.
Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer starred in the original version of this film, which was directed by Leo McCarey and released in 1939. This version of the film is a remake of McCarey’s previous work. The same narrative would later serve as the basis for Nora Ephron’s 1993 film Sleepless in Seattle, which starred Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in the leading roles.
IMDB has a brief introduction that goes over the Film.
Some Like It Hot
Some Like It Hot (1959), which is widely regarded as one of the funniest and most rowdy comedies of all time, but also one of the most ridiculous pictures that has ever been produced. A spoof of gangster films from the 1920s and 1930s, complete with period costumes and speakeasies, and romance in a quasi-screwball comedy with one central joke – entangled and deceptive identities, reversed sex roles, and cross-dressing are some of the elements that are included in the ribald film, which is a clever combination of many elements. In point of fact, one of the primary preoccupations of the movie is masquerade and disguise.
The remarkable movie was the highest-grossing comedy up to its time, as well as one of the most successful pictures of 1959 and Billy Wilder’s funniest comedy during his entire career as a filmmaker. Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, and Marilyn Monroe are starring in this motion picture.
Roman Holiday (1953) is a lovely and engaging fairy-tale romance that was shot entirely on location in Rome. William Wyler, one of Hollywood’s most skilled, distinguished, professional, and eminent directors, was also the film’s producer and director.
The film’s story is a delightful romantic comedy, somewhat like the story of Cinderella told backwards. It is bittersweet (with an April-October romance). A runaway princess, played by Hepburn, defies her royal obligations and escapes the isolated boundaries of her royal prison in order to find her “Prince Charming” in the form of a commoner, played by Peck, who is working as a reporter covering the royal tour in Rome. It has been suggested that the plot was inspired by the actual travels around Italy taken by the British Princess Margaret.
In the category reserved for comedies, the movie was nominated for a staggering eleven Academy Awards. Audrey Hepburn, a young actress from the United Kingdom who was born in Belgium, was recognized with the Academy Award for Best Actress.
Vertigo (1958) is a bewitching psychological thriller that beguiles on several levels, and it has been renowned as the film that most reveals the man behind the camera, Alfred Hitchcock. Vertigo is a fascinating psychological thriller that beguiles on multiple levels.
Vertigo is a film that will test your patience because it is not a tense thriller in the traditional sense, but rather one that reveals its secrets in intricate and fascinating ways. After suffering a near-fatal injury while attempting to apprehend a criminal on the rooftops of the city, James Stewart takes on the role of John “Scottie” Ferguson, a San Francisco detective who suffers from vertigo, a dizzying feeling that is the result of a fear of heights. In the film, James Stewart plays the role of the detective. Madeleine, the guy’s suicidal wife, pays him to keep an eye on her after receiving a peculiar phone call from a man who claims to be an old school friend of his named Gavin Elster (Kim Novak). Elster claims that Madeleine believes she is possessed by the ghost of her great grandmother, who, like Madeleine, committed suicide when she was the same age. As Scottie follows Madeleine around, he realizes that she is more than simply another task for him. He begins to take pleasure in following her around, and he starts to develop feelings for her, which eventually blossom into an infatuation.
I urge you with all my heart to watch these movies, and how great it is to see our icons from the ’50s when they were at the very height of their careers!